What to buy when…
…you’re seeing people you don’t like but don’t want to look cheap
Seek out the dustiest Côtes du Rhône on the off-licence shelf. If it has a faded label, all the better – it will suggest one of the great vintages. It won’t be. Then tell your friends it ‘needs to breathe’ and leave before they start drinking it.
Côtes du Rhône of dubious origin, typically £5.99.
…you’re feeling frisky
Although invented by monks, champagne’s small bubbles go directly to the major sexual organs. Good champagne is classier. Which is why we’ve recommended the cheap stuff.
Comte de Brismand Brut Reserve, Lidl, £14.99.
…you don’t want to share
Alsace-Lorraine knocks out great wines with German names that everyone else at a party will leave because they think it’s Blue Nun, so you get to enjoy the intense lychee notes all on your own.
Gewurztraminer Turckheim, Waitrose, £9.49.
…you wish to avoid your partner’s family realising how much you drink
Hide behind an Irish coffee, which is technically a hot beverage but also – if you make it in a 50% spirits, 50% coffee and cream mix – a fantastically boozy tipple.
Jameson Irish whisky, Asda, £12.
…you want to be festive but hate mulled wine
Go for a festive beer, a choice that is both novel and pleasingly discerning. Rudy our red-nosed boozer tipped us the wink: ‘Try something dark, treacly and rich like Williams Bros’ March of the Penguins, brewed with roasted barley and orange peel.’
March of the Penguins stout, Tesco, around £2.
For more festive tips, see timeout.com/christmas.